If you’re looking to host the ultimate festive celebration this winter, look no further. Event planning and management company, Oasis Events has shared its secrets to throwing an unforgettable Christmas party.
From how to stick to a budget, what kind of theme to have or, even the essentials like keeping your guests warm, event director Dany tells SoGlos the way to host the best party around.
For more information, visit oasisevents.co.uk directly.
How early should you start planning a Christmas party?
It’s never too early, get the date booked in as soon as you can. Christmas is the busiest time of year for gatherings and events at work, amongst friends and families, so get your date in place – especially if it’s a week night or weekend near Christmas.
The world of event suppliers also gets booked up way in advance, with many planning for Christmas around August time.
What things are the most important to consider when planning a Christmas party?
If it’s a winter party it’s crucial to think about heating. Marquees give you total flexibility and can be cosy and warm, even in the coldest months of the year, especially if you book the right sort of heating.
The following things also apply whatever the event and whatever the time of year:
The first is how many people do you want to invite? Close friends, family, work colleagues? Consider how long you will party, will it be a buffet lunch, drinks and canapés, or an all-nighter?
These two factors make an enormous difference to the budget which underpins it all in the end.
Second, what style of event are you aiming for? At Christmas there’s definitely a leaning towards getting your glad rags on and partying in style. But, would you like it to be formal or not? Will it be a few drinks and a boogie in the kitchen, or dinner and dancing?
These sorts of decisions may affect whether you’ll go to a ready-made venue, or whether you’ll style your own venue, what you serve, the furniture, crockery and glassware you will need, and the space that all takes up for your venue or temporary structure.
Finally, what is your budget? With all of the above factored in, how much of the party do you want to provide yourself, or ask others to contribute or buy on the night?
How can you make a Christmas party different?
We love an event that strikes out from the norm so we’d encourage any ideas which make your Christmas party stand out from the rest. You could have a cocktail mixology evening, with drinks shaken live for your guests by a team of experts, who not only mix memorable bespoke drinks, but really put on a show too.
Make use of the darkness that envelopes a December party and go for lots of outdoor and indoor lighting and candles to create ambience. Consider having a theme.
Let all formality fall away with a themed night such as 70s for dancing, mixed with really good quality food and drink to elevate it from a typical fancy dress party, you could even have dancers to bring the theme to life.
Another idea to make your party different is to have it in January. With December diaries being so full, January parties can be something to look forward to after Christmas.
Are there any things you should avoid when planning a Christmas party?
With many party venues in rural Gloucestershire, it’s also worth planning how to get everyone home once they have had a few drinks, to avoid the risk of drink driving.
Make sure you provide interesting options for the non-drinkers and designated drivers to keep them partying too. Give all your guests guidance so they know what to expect, whether you are feeding them a meal, whether it’s a cocktail party (and perhaps they should eat before), an open bar, and whether your venue is accessible on public transport and provide a list of taxis.
Most importantly, for a successful taxi service in the countryside, it often pays to book ahead to avoid guests being stranded!
What advice can you give to help people stick to a budget when party planning?
Once you know your approximate guest list and style of event, you’ll be able to make some estimates and get some quotes on all of these factors to inform your estimated total. Consider whether that’s in budget, then trim or expand from there.
Keep all the costs as separate line items so that if you need to trim or cut a little you know what you’re losing. And always plan in a 10 per cent margin for changes and the odd forgotten last-minute thing.
For expert advice planning an event, visit oasisevents.co.uk directly.